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Old 01-23-2012, 06:18 PM
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Default Sterndrive Engineering (SEI) lower unit

I am looking at getting a replacement lower unit for my 1997 Mercury 115 hp outboard from Sterndrive Engineering. Reverse went out in the outboard and I have replaced about a half dozen parts and haven't been able to get it working.

From what I have been able to find on the internet, they look like a good unit. The problems I have seen discussed with the company all seem to involve bigger motors and salt water use.

Does anyone here have experience with these lower units?
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:49 PM
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Mine went out after 2 years. 200 evinrude.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:39 PM
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Mine went out after 2 years. 200 evinrude.
What went wrong with it?

Also, did you have it fixed under the warrenty?

Last edited by frankt75; 01-27-2012 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:43 AM
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Did you lose the 3 ball bearings under the cam follower? That will keep you from engaging reverse.

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Old 01-26-2012, 06:13 AM
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There's definitely lots of information out there on SEI. I had a leak on my "original" LU on my starboard Merc 200 2000 model year. Turns out, the LU, had been replaced at some point, and this one was much older than the motor, 1989 IIRC. So, this one was going to need to be re-threaded, get a new case, or replace. I checked prices for all, and SEI was by far the best price.

Mechanic tried to steer me away from SEI and suggested I google them. I did, and found pages and pages of positive reviews. Compared warranty, and there was really no comparison. So, I went with SEI.

It's been on there now for about a year and a half. No issues. The paint/powdercoating does seem to be a bit softer, so my skeg is scratched. My fault, ran through some shallow water.

I do know of some who've had lots of problems. One it turns out, the SEI unit was actually incompatible with their particular engine. The downtime associated must have been frustrating. SEI is local to me, so the expense and time of shipping are not a factor. If they aren't local, the 3 year warranty may not be as attractive.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:27 AM
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Did you lose the 3 ball bearings under the cam follower? That will keep you from engaging reverse.


No, I did not lose the 3 ball bearings
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:46 AM
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I just installed my SEI LU last week. Took it out Saturday last week (no issues).. Taking it out again tomorrow.. we'll see how it goes. I should be complete with 'break in' tomorrow. So far, So good.

I also did alot of research online as well as took a good look through their forums.

They seem to be pretty good LU's.. and their customer service seems really good too.

Definitely worth the gamble in my opinion.. I rolled the dice and bought one. Shipping and customer service during purchase was fantastic.

.02 deposited.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankt75 View Post
What went wrong with it?

Also, did you have it fixed under the warrenty?
Not really sure. I was cruising along and heard clicking noise and then a minute later boom. Felt like I hit a log even though I didn't. I sold the top and bought new engine. Tried to get unit repaired under warranty before. Sei said the unit has a tag with a number on it and that I need to give them the number before they will fix. My unit did not have this alleged tag on it. Neither me nor my mechanic could find it.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankt75 View Post
What went wrong with it?

Also, did you have it fixed under the warrenty?
Oh, by the way, after it blew out, I could only go in reverse
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:33 PM
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I installed an SEI complete upper and lower for my Alpha 1, I/O about 4-5 years ago. No problems at all. I run for tuna and troll for salmon, works great for me.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:41 AM
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I put one on my optimax, I have only put about 20 hours on it so far but I have been pleased. I had a problem installing it but it turned out to be a couple of burrs on the end of the prop shaft from shipping damage. Filed those down and haven't had any other issues. There isn't a good Mercury mechanic on St Thomas and the parts to build my old one would have cost more than the SEI unit.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:38 AM
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Experience with SEIs on friends boats has been good. Make sure you follow the break in instructions to the letter. These units need time and the correct care to lap all the gears correctly.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:56 AM
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"Only goes in reverse" sounds like a broken shift dog spring or a binding dog. (the drum with the cogs to the right of the gear in the picture. The shift cam positively pushes that back into the reverse gear (pictured). There is a shaft through it that rides in a slot on the prop shaft. The shifter operates a pair of plungers in the center of the shaft isolated with some kind of bearing (merc uses 3 balls) Spring pressure pushes it forward into the forward gear (in the front of the foot).

Not getting reverse indicates it is not getting pushed back, bad cam/linkage etc or the missing ball bearings.

There are a few different designs of how they accomplish this "push" but the basic operation is the same in every foot I have seen.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:26 PM
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Default Sei no way

On unit 4..first shipped without impeller. Would never buy again. Yamaha 225
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